Poems by Rob Harle

Rob Harle

Metro Life

Searching through the Mumbai metro
undercover, incognito
never sleeping, never still
imagery, symbols and simile abound
like Heaney's lines stirring our emotions.

Sweet words to lift the spirit high,
hard rocks and gentle rivers flow
across the landscape of his page,
recounting daily lives of toil
metro characters both rich and poor
are there for all to see and share.

No Thoroughfare!

How much we’ve lost in progress,
the sign saddens me
remembering earlier times
free in spirit
free to roam,
wandering shorelines
casting fishing lines.

The liminal transition zone
a place of mystery and magic,
free to prise oysters from the rocks
as clean water flowed over bare feet
marvelling at the creatures of the tidal zone.

No Thoroughfare!

Gaol-like fences keep out the peasants
keep out trespassers
or are they to keep the greedy inmates, in?

The public waters lap at the fence
eroding the cheap steel
just like the erosion of our rights,
the rights of The Everyman.


Hove To “Notorious”!
had I slipped through a time warp?
I felt uneasy, anxious;
the black Caravel lay at anchor
circa sixteenth century
gently circling the tide.

This was Iluka Bay
circa twenty first century;
I stood wide-eyed
as if a lost ghost had materialised,
past lives flashed before me.

Ten years in the crafting,
built from recycled timber
by a man and his wife,
gallons of tar to seal her hull
gallons of rum to whet their souls;
sailed from Melbourne
across an oily ancient sea
resting at peace in Iluka Bay.

Another ration of rum I order
fixated on a Black Pearl,
I’m marooned at Sedgers Reef pub,
“Notorious” taunts me;
my mind spinning with questions
my heart revealing secrets,
I’d sailed these ships before
many centuries ago!

The Pram

he pushes a pram slowly,
deliberately, thoughtfully
along the river’s edge path.

salt air, divine nectar kisses his face.

deftly he plucks up rubbish
plastic bottles
plastic bags
plastic “stuff”,
stuffing them in the pram,
a desperate effort to turn the tide
to clean the filth of human thoughtlessness.